Off to a great start — so glad to see such great discussion, both from familiar faces and new ones. Thanks for all your hard work, dear hosts!
This is a complex text and topic – thanks for the post Diana. I’m not sure if I can definitively answer the questions you’re posing, but I find the detail with which the sketch goes about its social critique of the culture of the military fascinating and applaudable. At the end of the sketch, for example, the boyfriend returns, declaring, “I checked the message boards and it doesn’t say anything, so obviously you did something wrong and it’s probably best you don’t play. Okay?” In her powerlessness, Schumer can only make a disgusted face and continue watching the game. While this ending may seem unsatisfying, it smartly ends where it began, yet with Schumer, and the audience, now in knowing disbelief (and, hopefully, outrage) at the kinds of institutional practices that go unchecked in our society, not to mention the ignorant and oblivious persons (sometimes loved ones!) that uphold the status quo (i.e. the boyfriend). It’s hard to tell if the sketch would have lost or gained any of its humor with an ending that gives us a more direct, literal confrontation with the issue, but where its humor might not have been affected it’s constitution as a subversively toned, satirical social critique would surely be altered. The confusion, anger, and loathing seen on Schumer’s face are the attitudes we empathize with as an audience. By continuing these emotions up to and through the end, the sketch deprives us of any feel-good closure that might dissuade us from thinking anything more about the topic after the sketch concludes.
Nice catch, Chris — thanks! Love going to the wayback machine….
And if people want even more info on Flow and what it’s like, might I suggest Michael’s segment from the Aca-Media podcast, when he sat down with the 2012 organizers: http://www.aca-media.org/episode1/ (It starts around the 29:30 mark).
Thanks for kicking off the week, Michael. I think those themes of experimentation, optimism, and community are so important and remain the heart of Flow. They’re definitely what keep grad volunteers’ work worth it!
Badu is indeed forgotten as a southern bred artist. She complicates easy readings of her in either or categories. Just when people have figured her out she is on something else. The videos other side of the game, window seat, next lifetime and that masterful track Southern Gul with Rahzel!
I may be biased as well when it comes to DF. I think Killer Mike’s intro on Purple Ribbon Presents sums up the accomplishments of this crew quite nicely.
Thanks Akil! I have not seen it. I will definitely take a look at it.
First, this is making me really hungry! Being from the South, but living in Ohio, I really miss a lot of this food. Sigh.
More importantly, though, I think these critiques of representation are so valuable. I was reading about the musical subgenre known as “country rap,” and the distinctions between it and Southern hip hop are presented as entirely representational. No surprise there, but marking a form based on what it “talks about” is obviously problematic. Thanks for this post, and the discussion.
I agree about the constant blend and overlap of genres and cultural tastes that make up contemporary southern black culture.
I always chuckle when folks forget Erykah Badu is a southern girl. I love how she interweaves numerous touchstones of [her] black consciousness into an eclectic and messy understanding of black identity.
The Dungeon Family as a whole is criminally slept on. “Watch for the Hook” goes so hard in terms of visual and aural southernness. It makes you wonder if the New South for younger generations of southerners started with Organized Noize. I’m leaning towards yes (but I’m totally and unequivocally biased lol).
Thanks for these thoughts. Im grappling with the notion of southern pride and how it takes root similarly (differently) in the black community than for southern white folks. Touchstones of southern white pride - i.e. the Confederate flag - do not necessarily stem the same type of pride for southern black folks. I remember when I was a girl I hammered out a few notes of “Dixie” on our piano and my Grandfather had a fit.
I love the nod to food studies you’ve done here. It’s quite brilliant and you should consider expanding it for a larger piece.